It’s DNA Day! Is Marla a Skolt Saami from Scandinavia? Is She Related to Bono?

genetic mutation Factor V Leiden family tree genealogy
DNA Day isn’t just for dorks anymore! (Okay, well maybe it is, but still…)

Has there ever been a BETTER reason to celebrate than DNA Day?

Um, yeah, every other reason is better. DNA is boring, right?

Well, kinda sorta maybe, but I’ve had fun with it.

For instance, it was just lovely to find out about that hereditary blood-clotting mutation I have, the Factor V Leiden I told you about in last week’s post. It would’ve been cooler if it were like Factor V LYCOS and I really could wolf out or something (although if you talk to those closest to me, they swear I can Hulk out, so maybe I have Factor V GAMMAFAIL instead.)

Hey, don’t give me grief for being excited about DNA Day. I’m not the only one. According to CNN, there are 5 cool things you can do with your DNA (werewolf mutation is still in beta testing).


  • MAP YOUR FAMILY TREE – I’ve done this…see below. (Me reindeer herder. Hunter gatherer. Me toolmaker. Me do good stone carve. Make you statue.)
  • SOLVE ANCIENT MYSTERIES – C’mon. I couldn’t have been the only one excited to know if that really was King Richard (of Shakespeare musing) buried beneath that parking lot…
  • FIGURE OUT FIDO (See their stupid title “Distinguish your mutt” for this one.)
  • PREDICT THE FUTURE (I call this one the precursor to next year’s title, “How to make designer babies”)
  • HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.  {insert screeching brakes noise here}

What? Lose weight? It really is in our jeans? I mean, genes? (Don’t get too excited about this last one. So far they’re still just blowing smoke up our code.)

The only one I can really tell you about from experience (other than my Factor V non-werewolf/shadowcat/TNMT mutation) is the Family Tree mapping.

My brother and I submitted our DNA for part of the Genographic Project by National Geographic, which maps your male and female lines. I technically didn’t need to submit mine, since my brother carries both the male line and the female DNA history (we females only carry our female (mitochondrial, or “mt”) DNA information. In short, the “Y” mapping gives a man his father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s (and so on) history. The mtDNA gives either a man or a woman the mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s (and so on) history.

(And we won’t get into that whole new discovery of blood-brain-barrier Y-chromosomes they’re now finding in females because that’ll just really fubar this post. I’ll save that for another day.)

Anyhoo, I thought you might like this cool info on what we discovered in our own DNA through the genographic project (yes, my mom’s line does connect to those Skolt Saami reindeer herders from Scandinavia, and though Bono is technically in the same haplogroup, I don’t think he will accept my invitation to this year’s family reunion.):

Marla’s mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s mom’s (you get the picture)…

Marla’s mom’s mtDNA map (you’ll have to click a second link when this opens – sorry)

Marla’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s dad’s…

Marla’s dad’s Y DNA map (you’ll have to click a second link when this opens – sorry)

I just ordered the next phase of genographic testing kit from this project, so hopefully next year I can tell you more about our line, like what percentage we are of Neanderthal (I’m guessing this will hit high on my dad’s side of the family…just guessing.)

I’d love to get more lines of our family tree, like the Work surname, so we can get a closer look at whether or not our Works really were Vikings from the Orkneys as the lore goes (which would give me ample validation for taking up a sword and hulking out from time to time?), but so far haven’t gotten a volunteer from a Work male for a cheek swab. [HINT, HINT]

DNA testing on dogs
Baxter, wondering if he’s related to Bono…

In the meantime, maybe I’ll go see if Baxter is related to Bono…

Love, Marla

P.S. Since they haven’t figured out how to mutate my fat genes into skinny jeans, I’m off to the gym again. Thank goodness my code includes hulk muscles, because it’s strength training day!

18 thoughts on “It’s DNA Day! Is Marla a Skolt Saami from Scandinavia? Is She Related to Bono?

  1. Hey this origin stuff is cool. I’m clueless about all of it – how it works. I’d say it’s pretty clear where you get the Wanderlust gene. Your Dad’s dad’s da da d d d d d … was one heck of a traveler too. Thanks for the links.

  2. This explains all of those visions I’ve had of myself wearing wooden shoes.

  3. Well, THAT was interesting! We may be distantly related, too, as my mother’s parents were both born in Norway (and I have good friends who were born in Finland, though not from the north where the Saami live). I didn’t know about the male/female DNA, either. Thanks! ~ Linne

  4. “L I B….” she says in her redneck southern accent. (Those who are not from the Redneck Southern DNA haplogroup did not, at first, realize that this did not, in fact, spell “lib”, but the letters must be pronounced-ly pronounced individually and aloud to get the gist of their meaning…. purty darn kewl, Marla

    1. Cool! I was trying to decide whether or not that was common knowledge, and I’m glad I went with my gut.
      Hey, you’ll be happy to know I’m going to go watch my first bodybuilding competition next weekend in Pittsburgh. I don’t think that’s something I could ever do but love seeing competitive bodybuilders.

      1. That’s amazing! They are really interesting to watch and to be part of … you get some interesting personalities 😉 I can’t wait to hear how it goes. And for the record I’m sure you COULD do it… it’s just a matter of whether it’s something you want to do.

        1. If I were in my twenties again I might consider it, but I’m not sure I could commit to something that intense at this age.
          Ha Oh brother I sound like I’m 80 or something.

          1. haha, nah nah, I really meant that as it’s not something that everyone would want to do. 1) it’s a HUGE time commitment 2) it can actually be unhealthy and 3) wine is tasty 😉 but that if you chose to I know you would rock it.

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